Cuisine Technology
Bag with food being put into a chamber vacuum sealer.

The 7 Best Chamber Vacuum Sealers for 2020

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Before we begin: if you just want our quick answer as to which chamber vacuum sealer is the best, we’ve picked the Avid Armor Chamber Vacuum Sealer Model USV20 Ultra Series as our #1 option for home use.

Once you’re deeply into sous vide or food preservation, it makes sense to get a great vacuum sealer. They help with air removal, letting you cook food more evenly or store it more effectively. But the typical external suction vacuum sealers have a major problem: they use suction to pull the air out of your bags, so if you’re trying to seal anything with too much liquid, they’ll pull that right out too. If you’re trying to seal a bag of soup, or want to sous vide something with lots of marinade, an suction vacuum sealer won’t work.

But don’t worry, there’s a solution! Unlike a suction vacuum sealer, a chamber vacuum sealer doesn’t use suction to create a vacuum. Instead, it regulates the air pressure inside the chamber, which has the effect of removing the air from the bag inside while still leaving any liquid contents securely in place. It then seals the bag, leaving it air-free, air-tight, and ready to sous vide or store for later use.


The Top 7 Chamber Vacuum Sealers


#1. Avid Armor Chamber Vacuum Sealer Model USV20 Ultra Series

Best for: Home Use, Sous Vide, Meal Prep, or Simple Storage

We’re rarely as impressed with a company’s customer service as we are with Avid Armor. Their willingness to thoroughly help customers and answer questions, and the integrity that they show by recommending competitors’ products if those are a better fit, give us the utmost respect for their honesty and helpfulness. Of course, we can’t recommend a product based on the company’s ethics alone…

And luckily, we don’t need to! Avid Armor’s chamber vacuum sealers are as impressive as their customer service, and we particularly love the USV20 for most home use. Its chamber is reasonably sized, and suitable for just about anything except the largest cuts of meat (so it may not be the ideal choice for hunters or others who want to deal with bulk meat in large pieces).

For the typical home cook, this is by far our top recommendation. First and foremost, it’s effective, reliable, and powerful; it performs its job exactly as it should. Its dry pump makes it extremely low-maintenance, and the external vacuum port gives you the option of using the device with other containers as well. And its size is a huge benefit: at under 18 lbs (8.2 kg), it’s much easier than many other options to bring in and out of a cabinet when you need it.

In short, we have basically nothing negative to say about the Avid Armor USV20. Our only words of caution would be that it might not be the best choice for anyone dealing with particularly tall/large chunks of meat, and that even though it’s small for a chamber vacuum sealer, it still takes up significant counter space to use.

Specs and Features

  • Chamber size: 12″ x 12″ x 3″ / 30.5 x 30.5 x 7.6 cm
  • Preset buttons: No
  • Marinate setting: Yes
  • External vacuum port: Yes
  • Seal bar length: 11” / 27.9 cm
  • Dry or oil pump? Dry
Pros
  • A relatively small device with no compromises, ideal for standard household use
  • Designed for ease of use: simple interface, glass top for observing the sealing process, and a dry pump which requires no maintenance
  • Generous chamber size for a small device makes it more than capable of sealing reasonable portions and most cuts of meat
  • Adjustable seal time ensures compatibility with different bag types
Cons
  • Slightly smaller chamber than Avid Armor’s other option, the USV32 (see below)

#2. Avid Armor Chamber Vacuum Sealer Model USV32 Ultra Series

Best for: Hunters, Serious Sous Viders, Avid Meal Preppers, or Small Restaurant Owners

We’ve already gushed about how impressed we are with Avid Armor as a company, so we won’t repeat ourselves here. (In fact, I’d like to take a moment to clarify that we have no relationship with this company and no reason to promote their products specifically; we’re just genuinely that impressed with them.) So let’s get right into why we love this particular machine.

The Avid Armor USV32 is a durable chamber vacuum sealer that’s ready to work for as long as you are. This is our top recommendation if you’re a hunter or butcher, or someone else who needs to vacuum-seal larger-than-average chunks of meat, you’ll definitely appreciate the extra height that this chamber has compared to the USV20. It’s less than an inch of difference, but that can be just enough to adequately accommodate larger pieces.

Anyone who’s going to be processing that type of meat is also likely to need to work for prolonged periods, instead of just occasionally sealing a bag or two for sous vide. That’s another reason why we love this device for heavy users; it’s a hard-working machine that can run for hours at a time. And it has a double seal wire, helping to ensure that your food stays safely sealed inside.

There are two reasons that we recommend the USV20 over this one for standard home use. First, the USV32 is significantly heavier at 26.4 lbs / 12 kg (compared to just under 18 lbs / 8.2 kg for the USV20). This makes it more of a challenge to move in and out of a storage area, which is worth it when you need it but not ideal for occasional light home use. Second, it’s higher in price. Again, this is worth it if you need this device instead, but there’s no need for typical home users to step up and pay extra for this machine.

Specs and Features

  • Chamber size: 11.5” x 12” x 3.75” / 29.2 x 30.5 x 9.5 cm
  • Preset buttons: No
  • Marinate setting: Yes
  • External vacuum port: No
  • Seal bar length: 11” / 27.9 cm
  • Dry or oil pump? Dry
Pros
  • Taller chamber allows it to hold cuts and portions that some other devices can’t quite manage
  • Very durable and hard working, work it for hours on end
  • Easy-to-use features and no-maintenance dry pump
  • Adjustable seal time assures good compatibility with different types of bags
Cons
  • A bit bulky and heavy (this is the tradeoff for the larger chamber), but definitely not the heaviest on our list

#3. PolyScience 300 Series Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Best for: The Serious Home Chef

You may be familiar with PolyScience as a renowned maker of professional-level culinary equipment. This vacuum sealer is no exception to their usual standard of seriously capable machines. With that said, this particular device is intended for home use, and not rated for commercial use (so chefs and restaurateurs will want to look elsewhere).

If you’ve used a chamber vacuum sealer before, you know that you need to adjust the settings based on what you’re sealing. We appreciate that this PolyScience machine has three custom preset buttons, allowing you to save your most common settings for quick and easy access.

The external vacuum port helps this machine be even more versatile, as it allows you to use it for separate compatible canisters and bottles as well as for bags. We also love that PolyScience truly understands that you might want to use your vacuum sealer to marinate, compress, infuse, or pickle (not just seal). You can use this machine to do a series of up to 9 vacuum-and-hold cycles, each one taking 9 minutes. The seal bar is the longest of any of the devices on our list, letting you use wider bags.

Of course, the machine isn’t flawless. It’s large and heavy, weighing in at a whopping 50.7 pounds (23 kg), so it’s best if you have a dedicated area for it on a counter instead of trying to haul it out whenever you need it. And, as with most PolyScience Culinary products, its price tag definitely reflects its brand and quality.

Specs and Features

  • Chamber size: 13.8” x 12” x 4.3” / 35 x 30.5 x 11 cm
  • Preset buttons: Yes
  • Marinate setting: Yes
  • External vacuum port: Yes 
  • Seal bar length: 11.5” / 29.21 cm
  • Dry or oil pump? Dry
Pros
  • Quite a large vacuum chamber, and an external vacuum port for use with canisters as well
  • Marinade setting applies and releases vacuum on a cycle to assure ideal marinating
  • Durable stainless steel construction
Cons
  • A high price tag
  • The machine is large and unwieldy; best for users who can give it a permanent designated spot on a counter
  • Home use only
  • May not be as long-lasting as you might expect based on its price tag

#4. Vertical Vacuum Sealer by Vesta Precision – Vertical Vac Elite

Best for: Saving Space in a Small Kitchen

The Vertical Vac Elite by Vesta Precision is unique on our list because—as its name suggests—it functions vertically. So many chamber vacuum sealers hog massive amounts of counter space (and really, doesn’t everyone wish for more counter space instead of less?). This makes the Vertical Vac Elite stand out, because it doesn’t actually require any counter space at all. 

As the name suggests, the Vertical Vac Elite can function vertically. You can either stand it up (creating a smaller footprint) or even hang it on your wall.  For anyone who does a lot of vacuum sealing in a small kitchen, this extra space can make all the difference. Just be aware that using it vertically requires specialized bags with holes to hang on the rods in the chamber (or you can use a hole punch to make other bags compatible).

For those who prefer a more traditional vacuum chamber experience, laying it flat on your counter is an option as well—and we appreciate being able to change between the two positions!

We also love the user-friendly, straightforward interface, which makes it immediately clear what each button does. And while we wish the Vertical Vac Elite had an option for saving custom presets, we’re glad to know that it saves your last settings and automatically pulls them up when you turn it on.

Of course, no machine is flawless. We’ve heard that the Vertical Vac Elite can potentially scratch delicate surfaces when used horizontally. But it’s always impressive when a company takes customer feedback seriously, and Vesta Precision has definitely done that. We’ve been in contact with them, and they’ve assured us that they’re working on a solution involving rubber feet/pads. Until then, consider laying the machine down on a kitchen towel if you want to use it horizontally.

Specs and Features

  • Chamber size: 12.4” x 10.3” x 3.75″ / 31.5 x 26.2 x 9.5 cm
  • Preset buttons: No
  • Marinate setting: Yes
  • External vacuum port: No
  • Seal bar length: 10” / 25.4 cm
  • Dry or oil pump? Dry
Pros
  • Unique vertical design reduces its footprint on your counter, or you can hang it to avoid taking up any counter space at all
  • Can be used either vertically or laid down flat (with potential issues, as we described)
  • Large, user-friendly interface
Cons
  • In the vertical position, this machine requires either a specialized (and more expensive) bag from Vesta Precision or for you to hole-punch your bags
  • Not suitable for larger portions in the vertical position

#5. VAC-VIDA VS301 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Best for: Commercial Use or the Most Intense Home Users

One of the two options on our list with an oil pump, the VAC-VIDA VS301 is ideal for users who require the benefits that this type of machine provides. You can read more about the differences below, but to summarize, a vacuum sealer with an oil pump is higher-maintenance but able to run continuously instead of taking breaks to cool down. If you plan to vacuum-seal huge quantities of food and run your machine for hours on end, this may be the better option for you.

Among its oil pump competitors, the VAC-VIDA VS301 offers a fantastic combination of industrial-level power with a design that’s tasteful enough to use at home. And its powerful 1/4 horsepower pump is so strong that it’s able to crush (empty) cans, so you can be assured that this machine really is getting as much air as possible out of your packages. 

Keep in mind that you’ll need to change the oil from time to time. If you need all the benefits of an oil pump machine, this will absolutely be worth it. If a dry pump option would suit your needs and usage style, though, we would go for that one simply for the generally lower price and lack of required maintenance.

Specs and Features

  • Chamber size: information not provided
  • Preset buttons: information not provided
  • Marinate setting: No
  • External vacuum port: information not provided
  • Seal bar length: information not provided
  • Dry or oil pump? Oil
Pros
  • Powerful oil pump allows for rapid, frequent sealing over prolonged periods
  • Durable, commercial design that still manages to look good in a home kitchen
  • Excellent customer service
  • Easy operation, plus inclusion of a generous 100 10’’x13’’ chamber vacuum bags
Cons
  • The unit is quite expensive for the home user and may be better suited for restaurants or other commercial operations with a business budget
  • Device is large and heavy (77.4 pounds!)
  • Oil pump REQUIRES regular maintenance

#6. VacMaster VP210 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Best for: Light Commercial Use or Sealing Large Items

If you want a restaurant-worthy machine without the hassle of dealing with an oil pump, consider the VacMaster VP210. We prefer other options for typical home cooks, but this machine absolutely has its advantages and is perfect for the right user. It’s durable and well-built, so it could be excellent for a restaurant that needs to seal frequently but not intensely enough to opt for an oil pump machine instead.

The specific selling point that we particularly love on this machine is its unusually tall chamber. At 5” (12.7 cm) it’s the tallest on our list, making this machine a great option for anyone who needs to seal tall or bulky foods. It may be the ideal choice for a butcher or hunter who likes to leave certain cuts larger, for example. We also appreciate the double seal bars, which help ensure that your packages stay as safely sealed as possible.

Keep in mind that this machine is the heaviest on our list at a whopping 83 pounds (37.6 kg). This may be fine if you have a designated space for it in your restaurant kitchen, but it definitely isn’t ideal for the home cook who wants a device that can be tucked away in a cabinet when not in use.

Specs and Features

  • Chamber size: 11.25” x 15.25” x 5” (28.6 x 38.7 x 12.7 cm)
  • Preset buttons: No
  • Marinate setting: No
  • External vacuum port: No
  • Seal bar length:  10.25” (26 cm)
  • Dry or oil pump? Dry
Pros
  • Dry pump is maintenance free
  • Double seal bars ensure a lasting, secure seal
  • Generous chamber size allows for large portions to be sealed (with a maximum bag size of 10” x 13” / 25.4 x 33 cm)
  • Simple, sturdy design
Cons
  • Machine is large and quite heavy, weighing in at 83 pounds (37.6 kg)
  • While easy to use once you’ve got the hang of it, there is a slight learning curve
  • A big financial investment

#7. VacMaster VP95 Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Best for: Serious Users Who Want All the Bells and Whistles

We had originally intended to include only one VacMaster on our list, the VP210. However, the company brought our attention to the brand new VacMaster VP95 Chamber Vacuum Sealer as a compelling alternative, and we’re inclined to agree! We don’t typically include such recent releases on our lists because we like to make sure they hold up over time before recommending them, but this one has enough great features (and the company is well-known enough for their products’ durability) that we’re making an exception.

This machine does a fantastic job of including basically everything. You’ll notice that it’s one of just two machines on our list that has preset buttons, a designated “Marinate” setting, and an external vacuum port. Our only other with all of these features is the PolyScience 300 Series Chamber Vacuum Sealer, which has a dry pump instead. If you want all the bells and whistles along with the power and endurance of an oil pump, the VacMaster VP95 is a fantastic option. 

We also love the (removable) incline plate, which helps ensure that bags containing liquid seal cleanly. And the double seal bars give your bags extra security for your peace of mind. Finally, the oil pump allows the machine to run for prolonged periods, without the potential overheating issues you’d find with a dry pump.

In short, the VacMaster VP95 Chamber Vacuum Sealer is a fantastic and versatile machine that comes with all the features one could want (except a slightly taller chamber). We’re thoroughly impressed with it, and hope to see it potentially take the top spot on our list next year once it’s had some time to prove its durability and reliability.

Specs and Features

  • Chamber size: 9.5” x 10.5” x 3.25” (24.1 x 26.7 x 8.9 cm)
  • Preset buttons: Yes (fixed)
  • Marinate setting: Yes
  • External vacuum port: Yes
  • Seal bar length: 9.25” (23.5 cm)
  • Dry or oil pump? Oil
Pros
  • Has all the bells and whistles (presets, marinate setting, and external vacuum port so you can use it with other compatible containers)
  • Brand new sleek and modern design that would be at home in any updated kitchen
  • Custom vacuum option that allows you to set the desired vacuum percentage
  • Extremely reasonably priced for a machine with an oil pump and all the other features it includes
Cons
  • So new that it hasn’t yet had time to prove its durability among consumers. (But thanks to the brand’s reputation and the 1-year limited warranty, we’re not too concerned about this)
  • One of the shortest chamber heights on our list. This may not be an issue for you, but keep it in mind if you tend to vacuum-seal particularly large or bulky foods
  • As with any machine with an oil pump, this one requires regular oil changes

What Is a Chamber Vacuum Sealer? And Why You Need One

Unlike a suction vacuum sealer, a chamber vacuum sealer involves putting the whole bag that you want to seal inside the chamber of the machine. It then regulates the pressure (instead of sucking out air) to create a vacuum before sealing your bag.

Whether you’re a passionate home cook, a professional chef, or an avid meal-prepper, a chamber vacuum sealer can make your life (or work) so much easier. You’ll be able to quickly create your own airtight vacuum-sealed bags of your food of choice, and can then sous vide them or store them for later. We’ll talk more about the benefits of chamber vacuum sealers over suction vacuum sealers below, but one huge difference is that the chamber version is capable of easily sealing bags containing liquids. This gives you huge flexibility in what you package to cook or store.


The Different Types of Chamber Vacuum Sealer

There are two main types of chamber vacuum sealer: ones with dry pumps and ones with oil pumps. For the vast majority of home users, we would recommend a dry pump option. Professionals or others who will use the machine extremely heavily for prolonged periods may be better off with an oil pump, though.

Comparison between dry pump chamber vacuum sealers and oil pump chamber vacuum sealers.

The Benefits of Using a Chamber Vacuum Sealer

While it takes up significantly more space than a suction vacuum sealer, a chamber vacuum sealer has some distinct advantages.

First and foremost, a chamber vacuum sealer is capable of handling bags that contain significant amounts of liquid. If you tend to bag things like soups, stews, sauces, or marinades, one of these machines will make the process much easier (and cleaner!). This is because an external vacuum sealer uses suction to remove the air from the bag, and very often brings some of the liquid inside out along with the air. 

A chamber vacuum sealer, on the other hand, doesn’t use suction. Instead, it regulates the pressure inside the machine, creating a vacuum that keeps liquids safely in place in their bags. You can get around this with an external vacuum sealer by freezing any liquids first, putting them in the bag once they’re solid, and then sealing it… but that’s a lot of unnecessary work when you can just go with a chamber vacuum instead.

Chamber vacuum sealers also give you much more flexibility with your vacuum bag choices. An external suction vacuum requires a specific type of bag, while a chamber vacuum sealer is much more flexible in its requirements. This means you can save money by buying less expensive bags, which will help to offset the higher upfront cost of this machine over time.

Be aware that the contents of a bag in a chamber vacuum sealer should be thoroughly cooled, as hot contents can bubble up and cause the bag to seal improperly (if at all). Also, it’s normal for the bag to puff up inside the chamber before it then snugly fits itself around its contents.


6 Things To Look For in a Good Chamber Vacuum Sealer

Most of the popular chamber vacuum sealers on the market are great products, so which one you choose is more a matter of preference than quality. With that said, here are the top things that we suggest you look for when you’re deciding which one is best for you:

  • Chamber size. Is the chamber size adequate for the kind of tasks you want to perform with the machine? Some machines have much shorter chambers than others, making them less appropriate for large chunks of food.
  • Dry or oil pump. For the vast majority of home users, we recommend a dry pump. It requires no maintenance and is perfectly capable of doing standard jobs. But if you’re a professional or an extremely heavy user who will be running the machine for hours on end, consider going for an oil pump instead.
  • Preset options. Sadly, most machines don’t have the option to save your favorite settings as a preset. We wish they did, as we love this feature! If you routinely switch between different regular tasks (like bagging steak for sous vide and bagging blanched vegetables for freezing), having a choice of saved custom presets definitely makes life easier.
  • Seal bar length. The seal bar is the part of the machine that actually seals your vacuumed bags, so its length ultimately dictates the size of the bags you can use. Even if a manufacturer hypothetically made a chamber that was 20” wide, if the seal bar was only 8”, you’d be limited to an 8” bag. You’ll never find a variation that extreme, but it’s good to be aware that the difference between seal bar length and chamber size is definitely relevant.
  • External vacuum port. If you only ever intend to vacuum-seal things in bags, you won’t need an external port, and can definitely pick a machine without one. However, if you want the option of also using the machine to vacuum-seal compatible canisters, cans, and other external devices, you’ll need to make sure it has an external port to enable you to do this.
  • Customer service. With these machines, even the budget options aren’t exactly cheap. We like to see companies that truly stand behind their products and are eager to help their customers when anything goes wrong.

Conclusion 

A chamber vacuum sealer offers much more flexibility and power than your standard external vacuum sealer, and it’s even capable of vacuum-sealing bags containing liquids. Whether you’re a professional chef or other food professional, a sous vide aficionado, an avid hunter or fisherman, or even a frequent meal-prepper, one of these machines can help make the sealing and storage process much easier. 

For home use, our top pick is the Avid Armor Chamber Vacuum Sealer Model USV20 Ultra Series. It’s powerful and effective, but also light and portable enough for a home kitchen. It has an external vacuum port so you can vacuum-seal other compatible containers, and its dry pump makes it extremely low-maintenance. If you’re really serious and intense about your vacuum sealing, though, consider the VAC-VIDA VS301 Chamber Vacuum Sealer. It’s one of just two on our list with an oil pump, which makes it a great option for commercial use or for anyone who needs to vacuum-seal for hours on end.